The previous packaging showed an actual spark plug. I suggested showing two tablets touching each other – inspired by the image of the fingers touching each other by Leonardo Da Vinci.
As the sparks were going to be the most unpredictable I shot these first. Making the whole studio light tight I pushed a sparker into black polyboard and shot directly from above. Sparklers only last a few seconds so I had to try a series of different shots to achieve the best sparks at the correct exposure.
This was the best shot taken at 1/160th sec at F3 ISO 200 using my fast 60mm lens.
The real capsules are tiny and covered in some sort of sticky substance that was a magnet to dust. The most practical solution, given the time, was to cheat and find a similar shaped capsule to use instead. The real tablets are solid opaque black, but the only ones I could find are these cod liver oil capsules which are clear dark bronze colour and not as fat as the real ones. None the less I felt I could fix all of these problems later in Photoshop.
I shot the row of tablets in different positions on black glass straight from above again, using flash this time. Two softboxes where put low down on either side of the capsules to give long thin highlights.
The only part left to do now was choose the best shots and combine them in photoshop. The dust was still terrible despite all the cleaning along the way. For the final image I combined seven layers to produce this version, putting two sparks on top of each other and blending with vivid light to make them extra sparky.